The Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon attracts a large number of first time marathoners. While the course is challenging, the beautiful scenery makes that extra effort even more rewarding. The following resources are a great place to find advice on training, equipment, mental attitude, race strategies, and other helpful tips for marathoners:
Both veteran runners and novices need to properly train before competing in a marathon. We recommend that you participate in a 3 to 4 month training program in order to achieve your best performance in this event. Many local running clubs have training groups and experienced marathoners who can give you excellent advice. Several non-profit fund-raising organizations provide coaches, training programs, lodging and even airfare for participants that participate in their fundraising program.
The race course traverses the heavily forested Chugach Foothills between miles 7 and 15 on a gravel road known as the Oilwell Tank Trail. This part of the course can be quite a surprise for those who are not accustomed to avoiding the occasional baseball sized rocks. Practice your "eye to foot" coordination by incorporating some gravel road and dirt trail running into your pre-race training regimen.
While it may be tempting to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes for the big race, stick with the old tried and true. Many runners retire their shoes after they have logged between 400 and 600 miles. An ideal pair of marathon racing shoes will have logged 200 to 300 training miles and have been tested on several long (2 to 3 hours) runs without any problems. The same is true with your socks. Make sure you wear a pair of socks that you have worn successfully on several long training runs. Blisters are a major cause of marathon drop outs.